Case to take Mursi satirist off air rejected

Agence France Presse

Published — Sunday 7 April 2013

Last update 7 April 2013 3:22 am

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CAIRO: An Egyptian court threw out yesterday a lawsuit demanding a popular satirist’s show that has mocked President Muhammad Mursi be taken off the air and its broadcaster shut down, a judicial source said.
A lawyer had accused controversial political comedian Bassem Youssef of being disrespectful to the audience and to the president and insulting state symbols and Egyptian values with “sexual innuendo.”
The suit cited Youssef’s mockery of a hard-line politician and a photoshopped image of Mursi, who often professes love for his audience in speeches, hugging a red pillow on the show.
It also demanded that the state revoke the licence of Capital Broadcasting Center (CBC) for airing Youssef’s show.
The court threw out the complaint, saying the plaintiff had no legal standing to file the suit.
On Friday, Youssef made his first TV appearance on his weekly show since his interrogation by prosecutors last Sunday.
Egypt’s prosecutor held Youssef for questioning for more than five hours before freeing him on bail for 15,000 Egyptian pounds ($ 2,200/1,692 euros).
Mursi has said he remains committed to protecting freedom of expression, and that complaints against the TV satirist did not come from the presidency, but from “citizens” offended by Youssef’s brand of humor.

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